This is the 12th survey in the series of Annual Employment Surveys conducted by the Statistics Division of the Department of Labour. The First Survey of this series had been conducted in 1971. The main objective of the survey is to collect employment related information in the organised sector establishments in the country. The survey covers establishments with five or more paid employees in the private sector and also semi-government institutions in the public sector.
The Annual Employment Survey of Sri Lanka conducted by the Department of Labour has been designed to measure the levels and trends of the private sector and semi-government sector employment of the country over a period of time.
The main objective of the survey is to collect employment related information in the organised sector establishments of the country.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The survey covers establishments in both Public and Private sectors.
v1.0: Full edited dataset, original version for internal use of the Department of Labour.
The scope of EMS 1985 includes the following key sections:-
- Name of establishment
- Location and full address
- Telephone number
- District of assistant commissioner of labour
- Revenue district
- DS division
- MC/UC area
- Telephone number and address of head office
- Nature of economic activity
Classification of employees (Sri Lankan and Non Sri Lankan employees)
- Number of permanant employees
- Number of temporary employees
- Number of casual employees
- Number of learners and apprentices
Details of occupational categories
- Number of men and women in administrative & managerial category (Adults/Under 18 years)
- Number of men and women in professional/technical and related category (Adults/Under 18 years)
- Number of men and women in clerical and related category (Adults/Under 18 years)
- Number of men and women in sales workers category (Adults/Under 18 years)
- Number of men and women in supervisor and foremen category (Adults/Under 18 years)
- Number of men and women in skilled and semi-skilled category (Adults/Under 18 years)
- Number of men and women in unskilled category (Adults/Under 18 years)
labour relations/conflict [3.3]
Although this is a national level survey, coverage of Nothern and Estern provinces was not at a sufficient level of response due to the prevailing situation in this area.
The coverage was also limited because of the fact that there was no complete list of establishments for the whole country at the time of the survey.
The survey covered establishments with five or more paid employees in private sector and also semi-government institutions in public sector.
Producers and sponsors
Statistics Division - Department of Labour
Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower
Goverment of Sri Lanka
A complete list of establishments ( survey frame ) was available at the time of the first survey started in 1971. This list was compiled along with the list of buildings in the country prepared for the Census of Population and Housing 1971. There were about 22,500 establishments with 5 or more paid employees and thereafter this survey frame was updated annually, taking new registrations from the Employees Provident Fund lists.
Construction of indices:
Index numbers of employment are calculated with 1971 as the base year, and using the link relative method. Indices are computed for each major industry division,
Weighting of sample results:
The employment estimates are not weighted
Non response : there are no adjustments for non response
Other bias : no adjustments have been made for any other bias.
Use of bench mark data : none
Seasonal variations : not relevant
Indicators of reliability of the estimates :
Coverage of the sampling frame : coverage is limited, as there is no complete list of establishments for the whole country.
Sampling error/Sampling variance : not relevant
Non response rate :
Non sampling errors : the main known source of bias is the limited coverage of the survey due to the lack of a complete list of establishments for the whole country.
Deviations from the Sample Design
The coverage of the survey was badly affected due to the limiting factors such as the non availability of a complete list of establishments for the whole country and the nature of the method of data collection (postal survey method).
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Mail Questionnaire [mail]
Two Statistical officers were engaged in supervision activities pertaining to sending and receiving the questionnaires, coding and tabulation of data.
Data Collection Notes
1. Schedules were posted in the months of July/August.
2. Reminders were sent to the non-responding eastblishments in September
3. Parallel to the postal questionnaire, DCS officers visited the non-reponding institutions to collect data.
4. The data collection procedure continued till December.
The questionnaire used in the Annual Employemnet Survey consists of three main parts.
They are :
1. Establishment particulars
2. Classification of employees
3. Occupational category
The questionnaire was printed in Sinhala, Tamil and English.
An edit program was run to edit the raw data files.
Depending on the absence or presence of errors, the records in the raw data file were seperated into an error free file and a rejects file respectively. From the rejects file, a error report was generated indicating the reason for rejection of each record. The errors were checked and manually corrected on the report by referring to the questionnaire. Based on the corrected report, error records were updated by data entry operators.
The edit program was run again to edit the rejects file and the error free records were added to the error free file. If the rejects file was not empty the edit process was repeated.
The whole Data processing cycle included the following steps.
1. Accepting the filled questionnaires
2. Do a visual check for completeness
3. Preliminary editing and coding
4. Entry of data
5. Editing - Run edit program
6. Editing - Produce error report and return to the Statistical Division of the Labour Deprtment.
7. Editing - Correction of errors on the edit printout.
8. Editing - Change incorrect data using the corrected error printout
9. Editing - Re-run the edit program and repeat the error correction procedure
10. Consolidation of edited data files to prepare the Master file.
11. Produce final tables specified by the Statistical Division of the Labour Department..
Commsioner General of Labour
Department of Labour
Labour Statistics Division
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"Department of Labour, Annual Employment Survey 1985, Version 1.0 of the public use dataset ( July 2008 )
Disclaimer and copyrights
The Department of Labour bears no responsibilty for any results or interpretations arising from the secondary use of data.
(C) 2008, Department of Labour
DDI Document ID
Department of Labour
Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 1.0 ( July 2008 ).
Version 2.0 (August, 2013).DDI and ID numbers edited by World Bank for World Bank Microdata Library.